“I could hear the parental proudness in his voice,” Smith said, “which was pretty cool.”
Elsewhere, Edwin Díaz sat up in bed with his wife, Nashaly Mercado, watching a replay of the ninth inning. Díaz, who closed out the five-man no-hitter with consecutive strikeouts of Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos and J.T. Realmuto, called it “one of the best innings of my career.” Mercado had been at the game at Citi Field with her brothers, who filmed the final outs on their phones. Watching those videos, as well as the replay of the game, Diaz and his wife reveled in seeing the accomplishment from a new perspective.
Each of the five Mets pitchers who participated in the no-hitter — Tylor Megill, Smith, Joely Rodríguez, Seth Lugo and Díaz — had different stories to tell about their experiences. Those five may be forever linked in history, but that doesn’t mean they lived it the same way.
Rodríguez and Lugo recalled watching Johan Santana’s 2012 no-hitter in the players’ lounge at Citi Field earlier that day. SNY was airing the game, as it often does, giving Rodríguez a chance to see it for the first time. Then he went out and provided three outs of his own no-hitter, calling it an “unreal” experience.
Lugo wasn’t sure he would get in the game at all, but once he did, he had designs on finishing it. Entering with one out in the eighth, the right-hander recorded two quick outs on only five pitches. When Lugo returned to the dugout, manager Buck Showalter told him that he would pitch the ninth if the Mets scored more runs to eliminate the save situation. But the Mets did not score, prompting Showalter to turn to Díaz.
In that fashion, it became a quintet — not a quartet — that made history. All five signed a baseball from the game that the Hall of Fame requested. They all also received authenticated game balls that they plan to keep as souvenirs. Smith said he might ask the other four pitchers to sign his, and the players were allowed to keep other pieces of memorabilia, such as their jerseys and hats.
More than anything, all five pitchers will have their memories. In the hours after the no-hitter, Megill spent time talking to rotation-mate Chris Bassitt, who lauded him for gutting through five hitless innings despite not featuring anything close to his best swing-and-miss stuff. Smith and others spent hours wading through text messages and Instagram notifications, which numbered in the thousands.
“It was a special night,” Megill said. “I didn’t get much sleep, to say the least.”